Empowerment of Foreign-Born Latino Students Through the Use of Digital Educational Technologies: A Collective-Case Study Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Guerra Nunez, Oscar
    • Affiliation: Hussman School of Journalism and Media, Mass Communication Graduate Program
  • This dissertation followed four newcomer foreign-born Latino (FBL) at Frank Porter Graham Elementary School in North Carolina and examined how they engaged with critical educational technologies. I designed this collective case study to examine the relationships among the places, spaces, actors, and objects that affect their learning experiences and their engagement with digital educational technologies. Using qualitative methods of data collection, I observed and interviewed the four FBL students, and also interviewed other actors (i.e., teachers, peers and parents) and observed other spaces (i.e., classroom, afterschool program and home) relevant to their educational experiences. Using a constructivist grounded theory methodology, I examined each FBL student's (1) dual-socialization experience of acculturation and enculturation; (2) their use of digital educational technology in the classroom; and (3) their family dynamics at home. I developed a conceptual analysis of the participants' behaviors and responses with the goal of developing a grounded model based on their perspectives and experiences. I documented two different approaches to digital educational technology in the classroom: the one-to-one approach and the organic approach. The organic approach successfully resulted in the creation of empowering educational third spaces in the classroom; however, these spaces proved difficult to foster in home settings. The challenge of replicating educational third spaces at home was found to exceed general problems of access and to represent a larger pedagogical problem: that academic goals and expectations were largely based on middle-class, Anglo parenting standards. Further research is needed to assess how family dynamics affect students' engagement with digital educational technologies. In presenting the cases of these four FBL students I sought not only to understand their use of technology in classroom, but to better understand the empowering potential of digital educational technologies. In an era of digital dominance, digital nativity can be the key to Latino youth becoming the producers of their own future. 
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  • In Copyright
  • Gibson, Rhonda
  • Carrillo, Juan
  • Jones, Paul
  • Hester, Joe Bob
  • Parker, Patricia
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2014
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
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